We sleep in a bit on Day 2. The guest house we stay at doesn’t have air conditioning or hot water. It makes getting out of bed less than desirable. Holding really still underneath a ceiling fan is like heaven when you are in Ghana. So sleeping in is a win/win.
Today we visit the foster home called Assurance of Hope (AOH), we have a lot of emotional ties there. Read about this miracle when we visited the home last year.
Project Global Hope and Feeding the Orphans partner to work with AOH. In December, AOH was given ten days to provide their rent money or the children would have no home. Feeding the Orphans and Project Global Hope partnered to raise $4,500 for two years of rent. Within 32 hours, the goal was reached. However, as the money was taken to the landlord, she increased the price. They felt this was very unfair and started looking diligently for a new house. They found this one in a safer area. It has more room, electricity, water, and a larger courtyard for the children to play. We are thankful for everyone who provided a HOME FOR CHRISTMAS for these precious orphans.
This home has been blessed by the support and prayers of many of you. Your support has been a blessing to many children.
During our visit we met with more children in need of educational sponsorships. We distributed donations. I talked with the aunties about the peculiarities of Americans and what I could do to educate and bridge the gap. We played with the kids. We watched the kids sing and dance. I took lots of pictures and video.
A note from my conversation with the aunties – First and foremost the aunties ALL said that they are so grateful for ANY gift the receive. They are so blessed to have someone bring a “gift from the heart”. The following conversation is based on me pressing to learn more about how to acknowledge the hard work of the aunties. If you are taking gifts to a group of people, do your best to be “fair”. In some cases the distribution of the same gift to all isn’t “fair”. Maybe one person already owns several towels and another owns none. The gift is more valuable to the one with no towels. Think if you are repeatedly gifted with the same items. We talked about make-up, some like this some do not. We talked about clothing… they all thought clothes and shoes were a good idea… but we were left with the dilemma of sizes. Will they be ungrateful if the gifts aren’t fair? NO, I promise these ladies realize that you are honoring their work. But my question was, how do we best do that? What can make a real difference for them? Here is my answer after talking with aunties in two different foster homes. A small token of cash and a note and/or photo. For example a handwritten message on stationary with the name or photo of your state, maybe even hand-drawn cards from your children or church. Inside a picture of your family or of the auntie, or of the child you are sponsoring, and 5 cedis (about $3-$4 USD). Now you’ve made the gift easy for you, meaningful for them. That’s my .02 on the matter, just thought I would share.
An important tangent in the story – here is a story we never expected to be a part of. It was dropped into our plans on the Lords agenda. We were bystanders in this miracle. Our hearts grew in a way we didn’t expect.
This is our niece. We picked her up on day 2 brought her to stay with us a couple of days while we were in Ghana. We are responsible for her missing two days of school, but we got permission 🙂
We met her during the same trip we met our Baby Boy. We were told she had sisters in America, that’s all we knew. There was something about her that planted a seed in our hearts that day. This princess wouldn’t escape our thoughts ever again. Even in the midst of events with our adoption, she never moved off the front of our thoughts and prayers. I traveled to Ghana a month or so later to work on our adoption. There she was again. Her smile melted my heart again. She remembered meeting me and hearing someone tell me about her sisters. She asked if I could help her call her sisters. Wait a second. My heart was instantly torn. I didn’t know where the sisters were. What if the family didn’t want to maintain birth family contact in Ghana? What if I couldn’t find her sisters? But the look in her eyes was clear she was asking for more than just the sound of her sisters’ voices. I had to do something, but what? What would you do? Find the family, shock them to tell them there is a sister, living in a foster home as an orphan. I decide I have to do something. By the way, I have every ulterior motive to find a way to convince them to bring her to live with her sisters, not just a chat on the phone.
What I don’t know is why. Why did I feel this way? Why did I fall in love with this child. Why was I desperate to meet her needs and make her dreams come true? I don’t know. I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. All I had to offer her was finding out if she could call her sisters. I told her I didn’t know if it would be allowed. But I promised to find out if it was possible.
From the day we met her, Trent and I talked about adopting her. We knew we couldn’t, we knew we had to find a way to reunite her with her sisters. But we talked about her the way you talk about winning the lottery or having a genie in a bottle, a glimmer of chance/hope that we would be part of her future. We talked about her often, we dreamed about her.
I finally did find her sisters. It’s not that hard to link up in the adoption community. And the family contacted me. They agreed to let the sisters talk by phone. I started talking with the mother regularly. The mother started to talk about adopting her. By the time I returned to Ghana a month or so later… There she was with big eyes, waiting to know what I learned. When I told her we would call her sisters, right there, right then, she started to cry. I watched her hear her sisters’ voices and I cried to see her joy.
We’ve watched her adoption happen, and she is close to coming home. But admittedly we grieved a bit when she was officially adopted by her family, and we had a hard time saying good-bye in Ghana because we know she’ll be going home soon. And home is not with us. The great news is, we’ve grown to love her family and now we are all family. We found out that our kids are direct, first cousins and share the same Ghanaian grandfather. We feel connected in two ways, through finding her family in America and through finding the direct relationship between our children. Congratulations to an amazing family and an amazing girl, Godspeed, and blessings for a beautiful future.
Meet a few of the children and an auntie from AOH.
We wrapped up our day by meeting with the founder of Warrior Wives Prayer Ministry (WAWPRAM). Please check out their website to learn about their work. We believe we can partner with them in their work and possibly pull it into the Fern House Pregnancy Resource Center. Trent is a marriage and family therapist, so WAWPRAM asked if he would help them with training and resources (add that to the to-do list for the next trip). Trent is working to gather resources for them. We look forward to building a relationship with WAWPRAM, watch for more information about their ministry in the future.
The day ended, we spent time with our family, more chicken and rice and off to bed.